Reader Question: Camry Trade-up?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Rich asks: Hi, I wanted to let you know how much I’ve appreciated your site over the past several months.

After having been burned by my first speeding ticket in a decade, you opened my eyes to what’s really going on. I really enjoyed reading your review of the 2018 Camry, but I’m wondering if it’s worth the move given my situation.

Back in the day, I helped an aging parent buy a new 2015 Camry. I came to that decision because I knew that those cars are mechanically bulletproof. Stepping into the dealership, the XSE V6 had initially caught my eye, but at around $34k, I felt it would be too much car for the person who would be driving it. We ultimately decided on a base LE at the time, mostly because it was $10k less and I felt it was a lot of car even for that price. However, fast forward to 2018, I have come into possession of that 2015 Camry as this person is no longer suited to drive.

My impression now of the 2015 is that although it is put together very tightly, it lacks oomph with that base four, and it’s as if the entire car lacks . .  .feeling. When I first heard about the redesigned 2018 model, what really piqued my interest was the increased power of that V6, not to mention that in most other places you can’t get a V6 anymore. Your review of the 2018 reaffirmed my interest in the Camry all over again.

Lately I’ve been thinking of trading in the 2015 towards the new model, a V6 XSE to be exact. I was wondering if you think it is worth it, especially given the additional speeds on the transmission and the direct injection aspect. At the very least, I strongly suspect that this will be the very last of a breed, and I don’t want to regret not making a move when they sunset the current model 4-5 years from now.

My reply: Thanks, first of all, for the kind words!

I agree with your assessment of the four-cylinder (prior model) Camry. It is an excellent . . . appliance. Bulletproof. And boring. If you want a great car for getting from A to B and don’t care greatly about driving, it is a fine choice.

However, if you do care about driving, the new Camry – with the V6 – is an outstanding choice. I should have mentioned in the review my suspicion that Toyota under-rates the power made by the V6. The performance of the car is simply too good for just over 300 hp.

So, why?

Because it would make certain Lexus models with the same basic V6 look a bit less enticing.

In any event, I urge a test drive. I think you will know what to do afterward.

And I would not worry about the eight-speed or the DI. The eight speed isn’t over-the-top (as the Honda ten speed arguably is) and I think Toyota has added a dedicated PFI circuit to the new Camry’s four and six fuel circuits, specifically to address the carbon fouling issue.

Keep us posted – let us know what you end up doing!

. . .

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